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For an entire week recently, "The History Channel" featured history's most barbaric people and their cultures in a series called "The Barbarians Are Coming."

I was especially interested in how the Vikings were portrayed. Why?

Besides being notorious, seafaring warriors of Scandinavian descent, I knew that the Vikings were also excellent farmers, who pioneered agricultural products and techniques still in use today.

The Vikings Were

Farmers, Too

The Vikings began ruthlessly plundering the property and lands of their neighbors during the 9th century. During The Viking Age, which lasted for approximately 100 years, Vikings dominated trade and politics throughout Europe.

Most Vikings made their living from fishing and farming. But due to severe winters and a short, growing season, they went searching for greener pastures, literally. Via the sea, you see, they forcibly colonized farmlands, pillaging along the way.

Yet some of the lands that the Vikings colonized were uninhabited.

For example, "Eric the Red" (Eric Thorvaldsson), a Viking explorer, discovered present-day Greenland in 985 while looking for farmland to call his own.

The colony that Eric founded on Greenland originally consisted of 30 people and their livestock. To farm Greenland's soil, the colonists used manure, fish scraps and seaweed as fertilizers.

That's right. Seaweed was used as a fertilizer, too! For centuries prior to Eric's arrival on Greenland in fact, Vikings fertilized farmland with seaweed. What's more, they pioneered the use of seaweed as a fertilizer and a soil-nutrient supplement.

The Benefits of

Seaweed-Based Plant Foods

Even today, some of the finest seaweed-based products for plants comes from seaweed that's been harvested in Scandinavian waters.

What's so special about seaweed-based plant foods?

Plenty. Seaweed-based plant foods contain vital, trace elements and nutrients that are essential to plants, including house plants.

Additionally, seed germination, leaf growth and root growth are improved, as is a plant's resistance to stress and disease.

Many of the liquid, seaweed-based plant foods are also gentle enough to be used as "foliar sprays." In other words, they can be applied directly to leaves, where the nutrients in the seaweed are quickly absorbed by a plant through its leaves.

This Week In The Garden

The days are slowly but surely becoming longer. Even so, the snow-covered ground has acted as a huge mirror and has caused our house plants to receive more reflected natural light than usual.

The plants have noticed the difference, too, because many of them are starting to show signs of new growth.

Feed those house plants that appear to be responding to the additional light.

As long as you're feeding them, search for plant foods that are seaweed based.

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